Malefic Levitation unleash fire, hellish sounds and shrapnel on first effort ‘The Ancient Plague’

During the two world wars the world suffered (before the third one opens next week), the music of the era was totally not fitting for the woes of battle and bloodshed. It was swinging and happy, even when we were threatening to “come over there” to kill all the people and not return until we do. We’ve come a long way when dealing with songs drenched in war.

Case in point is Fresno-based duo Malefic Levitation, a band that waves the war metal banner high and comes at you with all guns blazing. Their debut EP “The Ancient Plague” is a six-cut, 20-minute display that’s packed with bloodshed and is impossible from which to wriggle out from underneath. These tracks are packed with sooty death and black metal, with noise-marred playing and violent displays that sound as if they were recorded in a bunker. This collection is brought to you by Sentient Ruin in the U.S. (who have become a super reliable source of underground fury) and Dawnbreed Records in Europe, so this band will have its chance to infect as many people as possible. There’s nothing easy about this, as every moment is thrusting you into the heart of hell, with nothing around to offer any protection.

“Intro/Abyss” starts the record with a brief run of noise, and that heads toward “Warlord Rites,” which is vicious and unforgiving, as one might expect. The drums rattle your brains, while the growls chew muscle, and we head into hellish madness. Riffs cut through as the track slows down but opens a buzzsaw, and the track comes to a bloody end. “Savage Hunter” has guitars boiling and the tempo ripping apart, while the drumming pelts, and the riffs peel paint from the walls. Peace is utterly terminated as the band stomps in your guts. “Black Forest Worship” is speedy and relentless, while guitars churn and turn to tar, and the growls are hissed. Riffs regenerate into a new beast, while the growls suffer in the dirt, and a flurry of guitars bring things to an end. “The Back Wind” is atmospheric at first before the guitars begin grinding, and the pace gradually gains speed. The drumming destroys bones while the vocals incinerate, and the song brings pain and misery over its final minute. “Outro/Plague” is similar to the intro, a fitting bookend that bleeds in droning sound.

Malefic Levitation are going to be there for you once the first nuclear missiles fly and we watch humanity and the world torn apart by greedy, clueless assholes who won’t even live to see the glory they think they’re achieving. “The Ancient Plague” is the ideal soundtrack, as its warped, infernal ways will match the black coating in your lungs that make breathing impossible. Oddly, I just busted open a cut on my very dry hands writing this final graph, so I’m going to go smear what’s left inside of me all over my face and get ready for the worst.

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